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transdermnitro

DUI-D in Pa. (delaware county)

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After dropping a friend off at his house, I was driving home. Apparently an "Off Duty" police officer from a nearby town was behind me. He called a police officer from the town I was driving in, and told him he is behind a car that was swerving. I had stopped at a convenience store next to the police station, not knowing what was about to take place. As soon as I was about to get out of my car, 2 police cars pulled up next to me, as well as the "off Duty" officer that was following me. The officer that was on duty made me get out of the car, and told me about the call he had received. He told me to do the feild sobreity tests, another officer did the horizontal gaze test, then I was transferred to the local hospital. They had 4 people attempt to draw blood from me, I was stuck with a needle like 20 times, finally the 4th person (clinical assistant) was able to draw a very small amount of blood, barely enough to cover the preservitive on the bottom of the tube. I dont have good veins, I guess. The clinical assistant gave the blood back to the officer, and he took it back to the station, and placed it in a paper bin on his desk. Another officer gave me a ride home. 2 weeks later, I received the charges in the mail, DUI-D (3802-d2 in Pa.), as well as careless driving. I contacted an attorney, who is a friend of my family, he is more of a plea bargain attorney. I told him I wanted the blood tested by an independent lab, because the lab that tested it for the police said they found Xanax in the amount of 323ng/ml in my system, which is crazy. I do have a prescription for xanax. The independent lab, said there was not enough blood to perform any test. I figured this would be the case, because on the police lab report, it said "quantity not sufficiant" to perform an opiate test. My attorney said that they will prob. go by the lab work they have, and I will most likely be found Guilty. Does anyone know of any Case Law that I can look at, to help my case? Any comments would be appreciated.

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Does anyone know of any Case Law that I can look at, to help my case? Any comments would be appreciated.

It’s not something that case law is likely to help you with. It’s an evidence issue. The state would have to show that you were impaired by drugs or alcohol. In this case, they’d seek to do that by admission of the blood test along with an expert to explain to the jury what it means. You’d get your own expert, presumably one who disagrees with the state’s expert who can explain what the flaws are in the test that the state did. Ultimately it would be up the jury to evaluate the testimony of each expert and decide what the facts are, i.e. whether you you had enough Xanax in your system to be impaired. Even if the jury concludes the state has not proven DUI, you may still end up convicted of careless driving if the cop observed you driving erratically. If you don’t think your attorney is doing a capable job representing you, find another attorney.

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It’s not something that case law is likely to help you with. It’s an evidence issue. The state would have to show that you were impaired by drugs or alcohol. In this case, they’d seek to do that by admission of the blood test along with an expert to explain to the jury what it means. You’d get your own expert, presumably one who disagrees with the state’s expert who can explain what the flaws are in the test that the state did. Ultimately it would be up the jury to evaluate the testimony of each expert and decide what the facts are, i.e. whether you you had enough Xanax in your system to be impaired. Even if the jury concludes the state has not proven DUI, you may still end up convicted of careless driving if the cop observed you driving erratically. If you don’t think your attorney is doing a capable job representing you, find another attorney.

Does anyone know of any case law they can refer me to? my trial is tuesday Feb. 12th, 2013

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Does anyone know of any case law they can refer me to? my trial is tuesday Feb. 12th, 2013

As previously noted, case law won't help you.

If you are still using the same (friend of the family - plea bargain) lawyer instead of a specialist in DUI defense, I'm not sure I think much of your chances.

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The only defense you mentioned here was a challenge to the state's test results showing a significant amount of Xanax in your blood. The lab you hired says the sample wasn't enough for a good test. The state lab evidently thinks otherwise and that it has good test results. So the issue is which one is correct? That's for the jury to decide after hearing from experts from both sides. It's not something that case law will help you with. Whether you might have some other issue that requires case law to decide I can't say because I don't know all the details of your case. It's a little late now to be putting together your case anyway. If you don't have your witnesses and evidence prepared by now, you'll have a tough time at the trial. Let us know how it turns out.

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Did your trial go on 2/12 as scheduled? If so, how did it turn out?

Note that the Supreme Court has held that the U.S. constitution does not require that you are entitled to a jury trial if there is no possibility of significant jail/prison time (i.e. six months or more as I recall).

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